Sunday, 30 November 2014

Hot tub whine machine

Week 8.  Broadcast 26 November

Last week! New York vs the UK!  Battery acid vs Piss water!  Bianca vs Mark!  Daniel vs Mark yet again! And Lauren leaving in yet another 'I ENT SEEN YOU DO MUCH' firing!  This week: country matters!

Credits!  I feel safe enough to watch them now we're close to the end.  I can't even remember half of these people. #thejoysof20candidates

5.30 am and the candidates are to meet LdSralan at Chiswick house.  Mark wants to go back to Sommat and James tells him he's bad luck.  In the cab, Sanjay and James note that the girls have been dropping like flies, whilst Bianca says those that remain are still strong.  Sanjay says there are still six strong boys.  James says he thinks there's one.  I'm guessing... Felipe?  All that fitness training must have paid off, surely?

LdSralan greets the candidates at Chiswick House and says it used to be countryside until London took over, so their task is to do countryside things.  Makes... sense? He says the rural market in the UK runs to £200 bmillion a year.  I checked twice, he really does say bmillion.  I am guessing that's... a lot?  The task is a basic selling one - one high-end, proven to sell, product and two new items - selling at the Bath and West show.

Over at Tenacious D, Katie wants to be PM because she's good at sales and Felipe wants to be PM because he's good at Football Manager 2014 tactics.  Given this is, as one of my Facebook friends pointed out, possibly the most misogynistic series ever, the men resoundingly back Felipe.  In Sommat James wants to be PM because he's good at sales.  Bianca cautions that he might be better focusing on sales than trying to PM as well but James thinks he can do both and is duly elected.

On the way there, Katie gets in the obligatory 'Combine Harvester' but with no resemblance to the original tune which makes Daniel crack up.

The products are on display in a sparse room somewhere and the vast empty chasm of the place only serves to emphasise their rubbishness.  Bianca and Solomon dismiss a £250 gutter cleaning robot that doesn't seem to work too well on the grounds it'd probably cost less and be more effective to just pay someone to do that job.  Solomon likes the idea of a ridealong trailer for a bike.  Felipe likes a big outdoor chair and some folding wellies although Solomon thinks the wellies are a bit flimsy to cope with mud.  In a reversal of the usual 'laugh at the forrins' schtick, Felipe and Mark (two of the longest-serving forrins in this process, surely?) take the piss out of the English by waving around a bag formed from flat-caps and saying this is how they imagine all English people dress.  Karren is not amused.  None of them are amused by a £280 flushing cat box (flushing to... where, exactly?  We're never told).  However, another pet device is more of a winner - a £65 tracking device.

Tenacious D's sub-team of Solomon, Bianca and Sanjay negotiate prices with the vendors of the bike trailer and homing device.  Mark and Felipe from Sommat flatter the designer of the flat cap handbag but fail to negotiate a price, something immediately picked up on by Daniel and Katie when they ring back as they moan that they need to be able to negotiate prices down for last-minute sales montages.  Mark mutters that it could be an oversight.  Mark and Felipe then negotiate a price for the trailer, which would be expected to sell 25-40 units a day.

Tenacious D's subteam tell James they fancy the pet finder and the trailer.  Sommat also want the trailer and like the flat cap.  James says he 'takes all that into consideraiton' but because it's a 'nice area' he wants the hanging chair and wellies.  Solomon interviews that James is an idiot who has mucked it up.  James patronises 'well done, keep working' as Roisin pulls a face of disbelief alongside him.

Countryside porn!  James is excited at all the wellies on sale.  Daniel and Katie for Sommat and James and Roisin for Tenacious D go to look at the high-end products.  James and Roisin talk to a ride-on tractor man and both like the product.  Daniel goes to a barbecue seller and the tractor man talks about how much his life's work is to sell their products, he's in love with them, he wants to marry them and have sex with them because he's heard that's what you do in the countryside and he'd even consider selling himself to represent their brands.  The men look... somewhat scared.  Karren interviews that he's very pushy and people don't want to hear it there.  The men tell him they're not interested in hard-selling and Katie takes him aside and tells him to calm down before someone gets a restraining order.  Daniel agrees and they go to see a hot-tub seller and Katie sells their personalities.  They get excited at the prospect of selling five and making twenty grand.

James and Roisin meet Anthony the hot-tub guy and James calls him Derek twice.  This may be of importance later.  James rings the sub-team and tells them hot-tubs are nice because they're round.  He decides to go 'fuck it, hot tubs'.  You can just see his brain going 'one might be a time machine'.  Anthony rings both teams back and says Katie was intelligent and has great product knowledge so he's going with Sommat.  He tells James he kept calling him Derek and he was worried James might not have attention to detail.  James snits 'sod him, if he's going to get all funny about a name I don't want to work for him anyway'.  My favourite FUN FACT! from this week's YerFiyud was Dara revealing that James' real name is also Anthony.  The levels of wrongness about this whole thing are kind of astounding.  James and Roisin agree that plan B is the lawnmowers.  Some time later (because they get the call in daylight and this next scene is at night), they discuss ringing the others in the car.  James decides to lie because 'does it really matter what's happened?'  Roisin says she isn't going to lie to them.  He says he'll tell them tomorrow but he wants to keep his team in good spirits and have them back him as a PM and a leader and think he made the decision for a reason.  Roisin says her advice will be to tell the truth.  James, verbatim: 'yeah, might be your advice, but what do I wanna do.  At the end of the day, it's important what I wanna do, innit?'  Roisin's open-mouthed expression says it all.  I mean, there's been no end of boys with bravado who talk bollocks on this show, but the majority of them tend to have at least one redeeming feature or else a smidgen of self-awareness.  Having seen all of this episode and YerFiyud, James seems to have no idea of how much of a tantrum-throwing, aggressive dick he's being and still seems to be labouring under some misapprehension that he is a bit 'loveable' or a 'cheeky chappy'.  Ugh.  He is LOATHSOME.  And I didn't even mind him too much in the opening couple of weeks.

James rings the sub-team and says he changed his mind last minute and made a business decision to go with the lawn-mowers and is all 'I'll see you later'.  Sanjay says he was desperate to get off the phone.  The look of murderous rage on every single member of Tenacious D's face is a joy.

On the way to sell, Katie and Daniel discuss how it would be best if they stuck to selling the hot-tubs because they had a rapport with the vendor and have a good relationship.  Daniel says selling big things for a high price is what he does best.  Bless him and his whole edit which has thus far been all about his total inability to sell anything.  In the other car, Mark tries some sub-Jedi Jim manipulation on Felipe by saying he's a better salesman than Daniel.  Felipe says he can see Daniel asking why and Mark says he's not here for Mark Wright, but for the team, and he's the best salesperson.  Felipe says he needs to think about it because this is where the game (apparently he's either picked up Mark's habit of using football analogies or he isn't taking this process seriously) will be won or lost.

At Tenacious D, James sets sales targets for the sub-team of Bianca, Solomon and Sanjay: a chair and ten pairs of wellies each, which will equal the price of a lawn-mower.  Their faces say it all about how important these small items are likely to be to the task outcome.  At Sommat, Felipe assigns Katie and Mark to sell hot tubs.  Daniel snarks that it makes no sense because he understands the product more and Felipe says he knows.  Daniel says he's only swapping them because it's what Mark wants.  Felipe says it would be 'nice to have somebody like... a boy and a girl'.  Oh, Felipe.  Daniel says Mark is there for no logical reason.  Felipe says there is a logical reason, but fails to say that the logical reason is Daniel not being able to sell anything to anyone ever.  Oops.

With Tenacious D, James is sticking to his story about the lawnmowers.  When Solomon tries to push him on it, he shouts 'It doesn't matter now!  Deal's done!  Get it out of your head!'  Gotta love that cheeky chappy charm, right?

Daniel is still snarking about how he is a 'salesman' and can't be expected to sell low-end products.  I mean, I am team Daniel to quite an extent here because he did meet the guy and Mark's being a total cock-blocker arrogant arsehole, but his logic is about as good as Felipe's.  If you were a salesman, surely you could sell whatever?  Otherwise, it's the product that's effectively doing the selling and not you?  Mark snarks that he's being a team player and they need to win.  Daniel says Mark is in Felipe's head.  Mark interviews about how he is the master of mind-fuckery.  Katie then snaps at the boys to stop it.  Daniel tells Mark the pressure is on him to get the sales as 'all I know is I would of'.  Oh Daniel, and to think I almost liked you for a second.  It's worth pointing out, as Monkseal noted, that after weeks of all the men behaving like toddlers, throwing snit-fits every five seconds, talking over all the women and bickering with each other, that neither Nick or Karren have given a 'letting down men in BZNS' speech.  God this show sometimes.  (That said, I am calling a Roisin/Katie final)

Time to sell!  A delapidated marquee with a solitary mannequin holding a flatcapbag in each hand and having one unceremoniously dumped where its head should be!  The ennui!  Felipe asks Daniel which he'd buy for his girlfriend.  Daniel: 'a hot tub'.  Ha!  Cut to a beautifully framed shot of lovely jets of water gushing from a hot tub.

People are interested in hot-tubs! They don't want bags or chairs!  James can't remember the details of his product!  Someone buys a bag after all!  A medieval horse knocks its rider off!  No-one wants wellies because they're too expensive and the quality is rubbish!  No-one wants an enormous behemoth chair!  Sanjay, Bianca and Solomon bitch that there are dogs and families everywhere and they would have been able to sell their first-choice products.  James rings them and they snark about how the other products would have been better.  James snaps 'I don't wanna hear that, I don't wanna hear about other products' and tells them to get over themselves and sell what they've got.  Roisin, throughout, has the face of a mum who has seen one too many tantrums.  James snaps that he doesn't want to hear negativity about the past.  Roisin says he was being negative to them.  He snaps that he wasn't, end of story, let's sell lawnmowers.  Roisin sighs that she'll shut her mouth then.  James grunts, 'yeah, stop trying to undermine me'.  She sighs that she's not and he says she's patronising and he knows what he's doing, right.

Katie and Mark sell some hot-tubs with free upgrades at a discounted rate and Mark negotiates a sale to a father whose teenage daughters have clearly been badgering him non-stop.  Helpful voiceover man says we won't know final sales until we get to the boardroom although even at this stage it's looking like a fait accompli.

Felipe fails to sell a trailer, Daniel gets bemused responses to the flatcapbags and Felipe gets the classic 'I haven't got any money with me today' brush-off.  They have an argument about which is the worst and Karren says if you walked past their stall you'd just see them bickering and the products are hard enough to sell as it is without that.  Daniel tells Felipe Mark has got in his brain some more and bickers some more.

More country porn!  Solomon and Bianca sell some wellies!  Sanjay is told he's a very good salesman but not enough to get a sale!  Sanjay interviews that he's sold the least even though he's tried hard.  He says he hopes James has sold lots of lawnmowers - cut to a forlorn James getting no interest.  Roisin then explains a product to someone whilst James struggles with not having learned his patter.  Nick interviews that Roisin's calm style is paying off and she sells one.  Roisin interviews that James isn't taking it well.  Cut to James telling Roisin she interrupts him and patronises him and to 'stop it'.  She interviews that he is being 'borderline' offensive and we cut to him patronising her with a 'well done, keep working'.  God, if James was in real BSNS he'd either have all his employees quit, be facing a series of tribunals or both.  He's so nasty to 'his team' that it isn't just borderline offensive, it's basically actual bullying.  There is some pleasure in watching candidates snip at each other in this show, obviously, but his behaviour is almost unwatchable tonight.

Katie and Mark ring Felipe to say they've secured some sales and have more appointments later.  Daniel whines that it doesn't matter who takes Katie's appointments (but it does for Mark's?).  Daniel snaps that he could say he has people coming back for his *spits* bicycles and caps and they coould do his sales.  Mark gets Katie to hang up and Daniel whines some more, much to the amusement of passers-by.  Felipe says he prefers Mark's selling technique to Daniel's as Daniel is too arrogant and then they get into a 'my business is bigger than your business' fight and way to go REPRESENTING BOYZ IN BSNS.

Last-minute sales montage time! Solomon gets into a bit of a negotiation stand-off with a young man, James tells someone about a tractor, Mark gets someone a leaflet, James sells the tractor.  Solomon gets a man to consider buying the enormous chair, Roisin sells a tractor, Bianca sells some wellies, the man buys the chair, Mark makes a man an offer on hot tubs and the man reveals he isn't buying one, but seven, as he has a holiday park.  Selling ends!

Boardroom time!  LdSralan says the secret to the task was to know which products to choose, especially the big ticket items which can blow the small products out of the water.  We start with Tenacious D who talk about the products they chose and LdSralan says Katie was basically the team mum and they had to ask her what to do.  LdSralan says business is about getting the right price and Mark says he disagrees and LdSralan shuts that down as well he might.  LdSralan says the feedback was that Daniel was a bull in a china shop.  Katie says she had a chat to him.  LdSralan 'so mummy calmed you down a bit'.  This is giving me some... uncomfortable mental imagery, let's just say.  We cover Mark selling hot tubs instead of Daniel and Felipe says this was based on Mark's style of selling compared to Daniel's.  LdSralan says if he put Daniel on a team of one he'd still have an argument and Daniel accepts he probably would.  The men all start to fight and LdSralan brings up the 'whose business is bigger' argument and says his is bigger than all of them.  Mark says they sold well, and LdSralan reminds them that, like the caravans last year, it's subject to contracts going through.  He asks if Felipe was a good team leader and Mark says he's nice but at some point in the process you have to stop being nice.  Felipe says he won't stop being a nice man.

Over at Sommat James says they have one chance to prove they're good enough to be LdSralan's bsns partner and other people don't get it.  The sub-team say which products they wanted and James changed it without consulation.  James snaps that it wasn't like that and LdSralan says it was. James said he had an instinct.  LdSralan says the others might have well done nothing.  Sanjay says James didn't listen to them.  James sulks that he had a gut feeling.  Any guesses as to whether LdSralan is in a trust your gut feeling or don't trust your gut feeling kind of mood this week?  They move onto the high ticket item and James lies that he chose the lawnmower as Roisin gives an 'I'll let him bury himself' smirk.  He says it was an agricultural area.  Roisin tells him to tell the truth.  Bianca says he told them he wanted a hot tub.  James says he was torn between the two.  Sanjay says they got a phone call saying he wanted the hot tubs and then it changed with no reason.  James said that sometimes in business you make mistakes and he made one and didn't want it to effect the team.  Sanjay says he lied to them.  James says he didn't lie and the reason they didn't get them is because he called the guy Derek instead of Anthony and he thinks it's stupid as the guy should have corrected him, as both teams respond with a mixture of agog faces and giggles.  Sanjay says James told them he'd made a decision and Bianca says he could have just told them.  LdSralan says his application says he's like Del Boy but he's more like Trigger who got Rodney's name wrong.  James says they had a tough day selling lawn-mowers.

Figures time!

Sommat sold £3598 of lawnmowers, 1 each for James and Roision, and £1159.50 for miscellaneous tat, making a total of £4757.50.

Tenacious D sold £500 of small products, but £30115.25 of hot-tubs - ten in total, including Mark's sale of seven to the holiday park owner.  TENACIOUS D-STROY!

LdSralan reminds Daniel that his team won and he's still in the process and their prize is a boxing lesson with Anthony Ogogo.  Felipe says they just needed to play like a team and it was easy.  He sends Sommat out and tells Roisin he wants to hear from her. She says she has a lot to say.

Time for some aggression as Mark and Daniel punch the crap out of training dummies and pretend they're each other, then Mark, Daniel and Katie pummell Anthony Ogogo.  Felipe stands and watches the whole time despite his commitment to fitness earlier in the series.  Ogogo declares Daniel the winner and he wrestles Mark to the ground and Mark beams.  So it was good old-fashioned sexual tension all along, eh?

Loser cafe and James says he made a mistake but it would have effected his team's minds thinking what could have been if he'd told them.  Roisin interviews that she's going to call him out on his crap.  James says it's a sales task so he won't be fired.  Sanjay says he sold the least.  James bragterviews that he's a leader, he isn't afraid and that makes him a great businessman.  There's a difference between leader and egomaniac but which of those is better in bsns is perhaps up for debate.

Roisin launches into a mega rant about James' immaturity, inability to listen to feedback.  James mutters that she's always bringing him down.  She says when things go wrong he throws a tantrum and then he pouts 'I don't fwow a tantwuuuum waaaaah it's so unfaiiiiiir.'  Roisin says he leaves a field of destruction behind him and the evidence supports everything she's saying.  James snaps back that she doesn't have it when it comes to business decisions because he wanted to do the best for his team and ends with a 'you're rubbish, Roisin'.  LdSralan says sometimes you might hold back information for a while for the good of morale but when was James going to tell them?  James says the next day, but then he stopped himself.  Solomon is picked up for being quiet at last (despite LdSralan saying Roisin is quiet, she's had a fair few vocal episodes, whereas the highlight of Solomon's journey so far seems to be getting the other men to do his tie for him).  He says they saw the products and James made decisions without any facts.  LdSralan says Sanjay only sold three pairs of wellies.  Sanjay says he tried to put himself forward in this task and in previous tasks and that he has shown initiative in the past.  Nick snarks that Sanjay's name never features in his notes, because he doesn't stand out.  Nick says, in a voice that could come straight out of a creepy horror film 'Nameless'.  Sanjay asks him to repeat and he says 'Nameless' again and it's a proper shivery moment.  God, wouldn't making horror films be an AMAZING task for this show?  Or, you know, running a ghost train or something Sommat.

James says he's bringing back Sanjay for sales and Roisin.  Roisin says she sold the second most and asks if he's bringing her back because she's pointing things out and he says absolutely not.  The other two are dispatched to the house and LdSralan reminds them that he could fire more than one.  Karren says she likes Roisin's style but wonders if she's left it too late.  LdSralan wonders if Sanjay does anything.  Karren says James hasn't developed into the businessman he thinks he is.  Nick says James has still got something.

LdSralan asks James which of the others should go.  He says Roisin has strengths but doesn't know if she can make hard decisions but he doesn't think Sanjay has any business acumen or puts himself forward.  Sanjay says he puts himself forward and asks what James has done.  Roisin says James tries to be decisive just to show LdSralan he's decisive rather than making sound, informed decisions.  Where has this BOARDROOM GODDESS Roisin suddenly come from?  I always thought she was good apart from that time she forgot about the holy margins, but she's taking James down in the most effective showdown all series so far since we were denied the full on Steven/Sarah crazy I was hoping for with their early boots.  James says sometimes you make the wrong decisions and that's how it is.  Roisin says she rescts his enthusiasm but she doesn't see what he's contributed except the name 'Big Dawg'.  Sanjay says he was disappointed that Nick didn't see anything in him because even though he's not the best salesperson he does try hard.  LdSralan says he has a feeling he hasn't heard from Roisin.  Roisin says she's passionate about being an accountant but is more than that and the successful board game means she's also creative.

LdSralan says there's a big tick against James' statement saying he rubs people up the wrong way.  James says people mistake his enthusiasm and he's never had an education.  Now, there are people who haven't had an education because they had difficult life circumstances and there are people who haven't had an education because they were cocky little shits who didn't listen or do any work at school.  Now James might also be the former, I don't know, but I suspect very strongly that he was the latter.  He says he's all alone in this big wide world and he needs someone like LdSralan to guide him and take him under their wing.  On YerFiyud, Nick made out like this was the epic speech to end all speeches rather than just another replay of the tired old 'I'm just like you LdSralan' speech.  Also - can you imagine James letting anyone tell him what to do?  Or LdSralan wanting to be a mother hen rather than a silent business partner?

LdSralan says James has sparks of entrepreneurialism but is immature; Sanjay has worked in banking all his life and is rubbish at sales; Roisin is intelligent but it's not good news when he hasn't heard from her.  LdSralan says it's hard because he doesn't want to demoralise someone with fighting spirit.  He tells James to cultivate the bit about him that's good, but 'with regret' he's fired.  That's it, a patronising nod on the head, no evisceration?  Roisin and Sanjay gave good boardroom but so disappointed in the sugarman.

Coatwatch: beige with high collars.  James cabterviews that maybe he's better off on his own in this big wide world and he's a survivor and one day he'll achieve what he wants to.

Back at the house, Solomon says it kicked off between Roisin and James and Roisin found her voice.  Bianca sighs that she thinks James will come back.  Roisin and Sanjay come back and Mark gloats that he'd heard Sanjay was a dead man walking and Sanjay says James gave an impassioned speech and Roisin says everything he did she fundamentally disagreed with.

Next week!  Buying tasks!  Something involving diamonds and skeletons!  And I hope that shot of Tenacious D celebrating wasn't a spoiler!  Join Helen then to see what happens and whether or not this will be the week Mark and Daniel both get fired after one fight too many!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Soft sell

Week 7 – 19th November 2014

HELLO! Welcome back. Last week Rad took you through the great Board Game disaster of 2014, which wasn’t the time that my stepbrother and I had to have an intervention from or respective parents about our 18 hour game of Monopoly. No, it was about Pamela getting the elbow and not Daniel, who is far too fit much comedy value to go at this stage.

Voiceover man informs us that there are 10 candidates left. It already feels like this series has gone on forever, but there’s MOAR.  We begin at Apprentice mansions at 4.30am with Solomon answering his phone in a t-shirt like some kind of RUDDY AMATEUR. They’re going to Mayfair and they have to pack for an overseas business trip. James takes his top off (THAT’S BETTER) and insists that they’re probably going to China. Yep, that’s right, James. You’re all going to China.  Seeing as we’re on childhoods, when I was a kid, my dad used to tell me to close my eyes and drive me up to the middle of nowhere and tell me that I was in all kinds of places. I honestly believed him. I think you could do the same to James. Katie thinks they’re going to Europe. Everyone gets their passports out and James laughs at Mark Wright’s forrin one. James JUST keeps endearing himself, doesn’t he?

In the Apprenticars, Daniel reminds Mark Wright and Lauren that they’ve both been told to pull their fingers out and do some PMing. Lauren says that she’s always PM at work. Mark Wright declares a fight because he wants to be project manager.

They’re at Grosnover Square because they’re at the American Embassy. Lordsir is on a video link because he’s got ‘urgent business’. His head announces that they’re doing a task that’s half here and half abroad. He wants them to design a soft drink for the American market complete with advert, website and digital billboard.  It’s the largest soft drink market in the world and they’ll be pitching in New York but he’ll be deciding what’s best. There’s a rub though. Half the team are staying home and the other half are going away. He wants them to work as a team ACROSS THE TIMEZONES.

Roisin helpfully points out that people might want to go to New York. This kind of sharp, analytical mind is probably what got her this far in BZNZ. Mark Wright thinks that it’s not a holiday. Filipe is EXCITED. AWW. They all go to McGarry-Bowen advertising agency to argue about who’s doing what. We start with Lauren giving her pitch to be PM. She’s got strong leadership and she has local knowledge of New York. Mark Wright wants to put his pole firmly in the ground (ooh err) because apparently, this is what he does on a daily basis. Hewer is sceptical and interviews that he’s lying about working in advertising. He’s a sales manager, not a creative. Filipe manages to swing it for Mark. Nick interviews that Lauren always just seems to miss out. Funny that. Next up is arguing about who is going to America. Lauren insists it’s her because Local Knowledge again. Katie thinks it should be her because she made a video once and Daniel thinks that the pitch is the most important thing he can do.

Down the hall, James is claiming that American’s love him. No James, nobody does. I’m guessing even your parents struggle. Bianca seems to have taken charge and is definitely seeing herself in America, surprisingly. She’s seeing Roisin in the UK, as she does Sanjay. Sanjay, funnily enough, sees things differently.  Mark Wright is bringing Lauren and Filipe with him and leaving Daniel and Katie behind. Daniel is going to work his actual nuts off and he and Mark Wright have a little bromance moment about how they’ve got each others’ backs. Daniel immediately interviews that he doesn’t trust Mark as far as he could throw him with the pitching but he’s going to how Lordsir and the WORLD that he can even excel in areas that he’s not good at. To be fair, Daniel, you haven’t really shown you can excel in the areas that you’re supposed to be good at, but we’ll let that one slide.

We’re pinning down drinks before we go. Lauren does a bit of a snide “If it were me” thing and suggests a coconut water based drink. Mark wants a healthy drink that isn’t too in your face healthy. Daniel wants something “rememorable”, like “Love Water”. Seriously.

Over with the others, Solomon suggests an energy drink and nobody can be arsed to argue. Bianca does a generic motivational speech and wants to reach the SUMMIT. I SEE WHAT YOU DID, THERE. James then attempts an American accent that actually makes me want to claw my face off with embarrassment. They’re off to the airport and discussing branding on the way. They’ve decided on Big Dawg. James is still doing that thing when he alienates the woman in the trio by chumming up to the man, because that’s never getting dull. Bianca sighs heavily that she’s got three days of this. Yeah, you do. And you deserve a ruddy medal. [If I were PM, I would leave him on whatever team I wasn't just to get three days' respite - Rad]

Half of the other team are in rainy Luton, mixing up the drink. That’s some confusing editing. They’re having pineapple, Lychee and raspberry in their drink, because these are three of Daniel’s favourite fruits. They’re putting in vitamins and deciding that they’ve created a soft drink for the mass market.  Of course you would think that. The bitter half of Sommat are creating an energy drink with funky fruits in it, as is allegedly the trend and suggests Dragonfruit.  We have a montage of Roisin and Sanjay tasting energy drinks and being unable to make a decision. He interviews that they worked well together and he’s not AT ALL bitter that he’s been working whilst they’ve been on a plane.

But MERKA! They’re here! It’s 8am New York time. James is hyped up. He’s amazed at the long, wide streets. I get the feeling that James being amazed is going to be a bit of a theme. By the miracle of television though, Tenacious D’s drink has arrived before them. Filipe moans that it just tastes of pineapple, as all good love water should. Mark Wright thinks its fine that it tastes of pineapple because he’d rather it was dull and work than be adventurous horrendous. They speak to the group at home and they decide on AQUA FUSION a tagline of “hydrated, healthier and happier”. Daniel wants an exploding pineapple splash on the label. They leave it with Daniel. Over with Sommat, they’re pulling faces at the passion fruit energy drink. Bianca says that it’s sour. Sanjay just denies that it’s sour. James then says that in his bar, passion fruit doesn’t taste like that. This just unleashes Sanjay’s not so inner bitch, and he straight up tells him that if he was such an expert on flavours, maybe he should’ve stayed home and worked on them. James makes faces whilst Bianca “feels his negativity”. Sanjay says he’s not being negative, James’ mum is negative so ner. Roisin sums up everyone’s feelings by saying that anyone that listens to James is a fool. A FOOL.

Tenacious D hit the street and test out their pineapple love water on the locals. It’s mostly positive. Filipe tells someone that it’s flavoured with leech. Nick Hewer interviews that it’s all a bit meh. Back in London, the other half of the team are designing the label and they get a phone call from Lauren telling them that the label should be exactly how Daniel had already told them it should be. Katie basically says, “Yes, that’s what Daniel said” and Lauren claims that it’s totally different. Ok then. Daniel interviews that Lauren just wants a free holiday and she’s offered nothing.

Sommat are testing out their energy drink in New York. Going with the animal theme, Sommat have Dragonfly in their drink.  People seem to like it in the same underwhelming way they liked Love Water. James feels that they need to live up to the brand, which is handy because they haven’t told the branding team what they want. Bianca then tells them finally that they’re calling it BIG DAWG. Bianca says that it’s aspirational and it stands out. Roisin clearly thinks it stands out as being shit, as does the graphic designer’s cat.

Tenacious D are doing their advert. As an advert director, Filipe seems to be a pretty good lawyer. They’re auditioning people for their advert. Filipe interviews that he’s enjoying being creative and smashing lawyer tropes. Over with Sommat, James and Solomon go full on creep trying to find women to be in the Big Dawg advert. They argue over who the model fancies more. Bianca urges them to take it seriously and interviews as such. It’s the most sexist and appalling 2 minutes I’ve ever seen on this show.

Magic of TV time again, the drinks have arrived. Sommat love Big Dawg. Tenacious D are unhappy with theirs. Filipe feels that it doesn’t stand out. Mark Wright doesn’t think it’s clear enough that it’s allegedly healthy and Lauren doesn’t think anything. Mark Wright interviews that he’s disappointed in the product but all this means is that he’s going to work harder.

Sanjay and Roisin are still in London. They’re designing their digital billboard. Roisin talks them through it and ends with the question “what dog would you be”. Bianca would like an explanation. Roisin tries to explain that people might want to think about whether they’re Snoopy or a King Charles Cavalier Spaniel or some other dog shit that I have no interest in. Bianca makes it clear that she doesn’t want this on her advert because it’s about how energy drinks supplement their lifestyle. Sanjay loses his shit quite significantly at this point because basically they’ve done all the work and Bianca hasn’t been clear about what she wants. He’s got a point. She’s sorry he feels like that and pulls out the negative line again. Karren is totally team Sanjay because she has eyes and ears. Karren interviews that they better look sharp if they want to work with Lordsir. James tells Bianca that she should’ve been in the UK.

Over with Tenacious D, Filipe has turned into a minor despot trying to get his advert directing. Lauren is in the advert with a ridiculous American accent. Mark Wright interviews that Filipe may be a bit overwhelmed as Filipe screams in people’s faces for not catching bottles of Aqua Fusion correctly. Mark Wright interviews that he had to calm Filipe down on three separate occasions, including one that we see. Oh Filipe, your enthusiasm much outweighs your skill.

Over with Sommat, Bianca is taking the more hands on approach and is directing herself.  She’s making James her assistant to keep him out of trouble. Solomon is going to be in the advert. Bianca interviews that her advert is going to be about young people telling their stories about energy drinks. Maybe I could tell the story about the time I got off my face on vodka redbulls and started pole dancing at the now defunct Canal Club in Wolverhampton? Wow, we’re getting deep today. I like it. I didn’t know that this recap would turn into a bit of a therapy session. Anyway, if we thought Filipe was bad, Bianca is now having a go at Solomon for letting the sun be in his eyes as he spouts some drivel about Big Dawg helping him work hard and play harder. Karren, who is suddenly in America, interviews that they’re supposed to have a big, brash brand but there’s no excitement in him. She’s appalled that Bianca thinks everyone is fine. Surely that if everyone was off their tits on energy drinks it would be an AMAZING advert. [As it was, it was like they were all on sleeping tablets - Rad]

Back with Tenacious D, they’re cutting the advert and Lauren is doing that thing where she’s giving everyone’s ideas back to them as her own. Mark Wright is frustrated with her, and interviews as such. He’s not sure about her contribution. The Big Dawg team are getting on slightly better with each other. James seems pleased, in a manner that shows he’s been at the Big Dawg himself.

Never mind that, though. It’s time for the pitches.  First though, a detour round Times Square and some mixed reactions to the advert. Mark Wright acts like he’s on some advertising religious pilgrimage, Filipe actually tears up and James bounds around like slightly smaller dawg. He’s going to smash the pitch and declares that the world is as big as his oyster. His brain is as big as his oyster.

They’re pitching to representatives from the ad industry, people from Clear Channel and drinks people Vita Coco, Fevertree and Britvic. The British sections of the team are watching on video link for ultimate torture factor. Summat are first. They spend the first minute of their pitch giving out the drinks whilst James complements everyone in the room individually. He begins the pitch by saying that he want to create a global brand. Bianca talks about bright colours and the American Dream. The whole thing reminds me of that time on Family Guy when Lois Griffin gets elected to council by saying 9/11 over and over again to a crowd of braying sycophants. They watch the advert. Nobody isn’t embarrassed. Even people that aren’t watching know that something terrible is happening somewhere. They open the floor for questions. The first one is about why their advert has no music. Bianca says that it’s about making an emotional connection and not just about high octane cars and stuff. It’s not unusual, apparently, it’s different and it’s about having it ALL. Next question is about whether the bone in BIG is a cock or not. I shit you not. James enjoyed the pitch. Bianca tells him off a bit for going rogue but its fine because it was good rogue.

Tenacious D’s turn. Katie and Daniel whine about not being there. Daniel wanted his chance to pitch in America and Katie wonders whether Lauren being a sourpuss lawyer is going to be a problem. (SPOILER – MAYBE). Mark Wright leads the pitch. Mark tells everyone about how they’re a beautiful rainbow of a team. Lauren takes over and messes it all up as Daniel critiques every minor part or her performance. Their advert is terrible. A man in the audience asks why they didn’t talk about fruit in the advert. Lauren is worried about making spurious health claims. IN AMERICA. Oh dear. Mark Wright interviews that he thinks it went well. Advertising is his job and advertising is on his business plan and he knows his team did a good job. He’s going a long way in the process. Daniel and Katie continue to pick apart Lauren’s performance but he grudges that Mark was ok at doing a pitch. Bianca interviews that everything is wonderful and ace apart from the London team, who are equally pissed off at not being listened to despite doing most of the work. Sanjay declares the advert “the boring thing I’ve ever seen in my life”.

As the others go back to America, Lordsir gets a conference call from the Merkans. They seem to like Sommat’s bold marketing and ideas but their advert was “borderline tragic”. Tenacious D had a better advert, but the brand and advert were a bit more wishy washy. So who will win arbitrarily? Let’s wait and see.

Everyone is in the boardroom. Lordsir explains that the task was all about launching a soft drink for the American Market. He starts with Tenacious D. Mark Wright felt confident that he could win this task and lead the team well. He explains that he split the team based on who was best to go to America. Lordsir wonders how that went down. Daniel explains that he felt that staying at home was his opportunity to show him that he could do other things whilst having Mark back him 100%. Lordsir introduces AQUA FUSION in a manner that suggests he is unimpressed. He doesn’t think that it would stand out on a shelf. Filipe agrees. Lordsir says that everything is based around the drink and the drink is very very bland. He actually thinks that Mark Wright may have been a bit of a fool to claim that the task was his thing but to leave the success of it to Daniel and Katie. He tries to claim he made the right choices but seems to fail to convince even himself of this. Lordsir hopes that the advert and poster make it better. Oh they really won’t.  Lordsir tries to interpret the advert. He then attempts a joke about Lauren being left on the shelf, much like the drink and absolutely nobody laughs. On to the pitch. Daniel begins a sentence with “I’m not here to make friends” then proceeds to rip into everyone’s pitching style, including Lauren’s enthusiasm.

Over with Sommat, Bianca claims to have invented the business trip, in that she decided that they weren’t going to New York for fun. Karren says what everyone is thinking, in that there was no way that James wasn’t going to New York. James spouts some horseshit about his personality being suited to America and Lordsir says that of course it is, he’s also loud and obnoxious. On to the brand name. James said he wanted something big that stood out and that’s where they got BIG DAWG from.  He says “dawg” in an approximation of an American accent. Lordsir then moves on to the bone/boner confusion then moves on to Sanjay complaining about everything. Sanjay admits it took him a couple of days to get on board with the concept. Bianca calls this an understatement and he spent three days being a bitch about everything. Sanjay, of course, thinks this is unfair. James hops in and says that he’s sympathetic towards the UK team because they could’ve done with more direction from Bianca. Or him, as Karren points out. Sanjay can’t resist getting a dig in about James suddenly becoming an expert on flavours once his feet were safely on American soil.  I want to go out for coffee and bitching with Sanjay please. They watch the advert. Lordsir declares it more Chihuahua than Big Dog. Mark Wright laughs at that a bit too hard. Pipe down mate, your pineapple love water is more shit than anything else ever. Lordsir wants to know the concept, because he doesn’t get it. Bianca explains that it’s about a skateboarder that uses energy drinks. Lordsir wonders why Solomon is in it in that case, as he’s hardly Mark Zukerberg. Solomon just looks like an idiot whilst Bianca calls him an “aspiring” entrepreneur. SHADE. He then makes reference to Joan Baez under the tree and it’s clear nobody knows what he’s talking about. We move on to the pitch. Bianca thought it was positive. Karren agrees.

So what’s the verdict? Adverts! Sommat’s was a complete and utter joke, Tenacious D’s was marginally less shit but the rest of the campaign was too dull for the American market. Big Dawg was more of an American brand and had a marginally better concept and their digital signage was better. He’s thought about it and Tenacious D were slightly more rubbish. Summit win! James immediately says “Big Dawg rocks” to indifference and a “you can’t help yourself” from Lordsir. He takes this as a compliment. Oh dear. They’re going out for dinner at the top of Tower 42.

To the losers! They’re off to have some blame tea whilst Sommat argue over which half of the team was the worst. Answer: you both were. Over in Losers’ Caff, Mark Wright is pointing the finger of blame firmly at the brand. Daniel isn’t having that and says that he was very creative and maybe if the team had had a collective vision it would’ve been better. Daniel interviews that he’s an easy target to take back into the board room but the advert was just as useless. Mark Wright interviews that his London team may well have been shit but at least they were doing something, unlike Lauren.

We’re back in the boardroom. Lordsir says that Mark Wright was very forceful in wanting to be PM because this was his day job but it’s not even his day job. Mark Wright says it is and that he’s a sales manager for a digital marketing company. Lordsir insinuates that this might be a bit of a made up job. Mark doesn’t give anything in his answer that would indicate to the contrary. Daniel rolls his eyes. Lordsir pins this down further and asks if he’s involved in anything creative. He hasn’t. Lordsir then claims that he’s forgotten more about Marketing than Mark Wright has ever learned and that even he knows that the starting point for any advertising campaign is the product and even the best salesman can’t sell rubbish [this week.  Don't recall that usually being an issue on this show.  MOAR BASIL! - Rad]. Err, I don’t think that’s anything to do with BZNZ KNWLDG, that’s just common sense. Apparently AQUA FUSION is both insipid AND dull and looks like what Big Dawg would do up a lamp post. Lordsir then moves on to question Mark Wright’s team decisions. He said he felt that Katie was best placed to make flavour decisions and Daniel was insistent on a chance to show his creative side. Lordsir questions the logic keeping your friends close and putting your enemies in charge. Good question. Daniel says that he may well be a salesman but he put everything into being creative.  Lordsir disses pretty much everything about the product and Filipe does a James and suddenly becomes an expert on branding and the American market. Katie rightly says that if he knows so much he should’ve stayed at home. On to the advert, and Filipe is accused of going into Felini mode. Filipe thinks his advert did what it was supposed to. Lordsir declares him as deluded as Daniel, which is quite a diss, really. The advert is apparently indefensible and Filipe agrees. Today’s best Lordsir dad joke comes next, which is that New York is the city that never sleeps, but the advert put everyone to sleep. AHAHA! Notice how it’s only rich people that can get away with making jokes like that and having people laugh, because you need FEAR.

Attention turns to Lauren. What is she even FOR? Lauren claims to have invented drinks that combine fruit and water. Mark Wright cannot hand on heart say what she did. She disagrees, of course. Katie jumps in and says that the initial concept came from all of them. Mark Wright jumps back in and all Lauren can say is that she hasn’t finished. Ah, the last grasp of the hopeless. Karren jumps in that she was in the advert and Nick said that she did say some words in the pitch. There you go. Lordsir isn’t done though, and feeds back that the grownups said that it was a cautious pitch and they made the Piers Morgan of drinks. Steady on! It’s not that bad. [Didn't Piers Morgan win the US sleb 'Prentice?  And lose the UK one?  Oh LdSralan and your international spats with Piers and Trumpy - Rad]

Who’s coming back though? Well, Lauren of course, and Mark Wright is also regrettably bringing back in Daniel. Lordsir notices that he’s clear about Lauren but can see that he isn’t sure about Daniel but he’s sure he’ll find out why. Everyone gets sent out and it’s the Karren/Nick/Lordsir chat. Lordsir wonders if the salesman may have sold out and wonders what Lauren actually does. Karren says that her pitch was more of a sermon. Karren says that Mark Wright produced a terrible product with his first go as PM but Nick is impressed at his honesty.

They’re back! Lordsir wants to know whether Mark and Daniel are just oil and water or is there a real reason he’s back? Mark Wright says that he’s responsible for the logo. Daniel jumps in and Lordsir has to let Mark Wright finish. Mark Wright says that Daniel is usually a turkey on tasks and today was no exception, but he didn’t want it to look like sour grapes or a personality thing. Daniel wants to know if this is true, where is Katie. Mark says that he has a feeling that the things that were wrong with the task were to do with Daniel and anyway, Katie picked the ingredients. Daniel says that he picked three of the ingredients so ner. This pushes Mark over the edge and he says that he was right to bring him in because he doesn’t like people that talk rubbish and if he had a pound for every time Daniel said something stupid he’d already have the £250k and wouldn’t need to be here. Daniel wonders how long Mark has been waiting to say that for. AGES, would be my guess. Daniel then says that he can see through Mark and tries to play the “I may not be educated” card because we all know how much Lordsir values an education, but fails when he’s unable to say “articulate”.  Mark is EMPTY at BZNZ and Daniel had to pull the task along. Lordsir wants to know what led to the BZNZ DCSN to put yellow on yellow on yellow? Daniel 100 PERCENT agrees. That’s not even an Apprentice percentage. Get out.

So whose fault is it? Daniel isn’t going to scapegoat anyone but he’s totally scapegoating Lauren. Lauren says that to say she’s outraged to be in the boardroom is an understatement and she contributed LOADS. She even wonders what Mark did. Mark was the PM so he was involved in everything. She then talks lots and says little and ends it with the fact that she wanted to be PM and it didn’t happen. She accuses Mark of misrepresenting himself to get a holiday in New York. She blames Mark for the failure of the task. Mark blames her. Mark grudgingly admits that Daniel at least did something. Lauren claims that nothing was to do with her. Mark says that’s exactly right. Oh dear.

Lordsir sums up. Lauren is obviously smart but Nick and Karren say that she tends to stand back. He’s noted that he wanted to see more from her and yet again she’s done nothing. On to Mark. He got the PM job under very tenuous REZOOMAY stretching and perhaps his desire to be PM was about pleasing him rather than him being any good and the only thing he’s proved. Finally, Daniel. He’s not shown himself to be a great presenter or a great salesman and now he’s shown himself to be a shit creative too. He’s not convinced that it’s Daniel’s fault. However, Mark may have made a fatal error in the way he assigned the tasks. He put two lawyers in front of a marketing team and it ended up dull whereas Daniel could’ve at least talked the talk.

He’s made his decision on instinct and that instinct tells him that Lauren isn’t his business partner. In a sedate black Mac she taxiterviews that she’s still really shocked that she ended up in the boardroom, let alone fired and blames the mean boys for ganging up on her. Back at the house, James is claiming individual victory. Everyone makes an uncomfortable noise at the return of Daniel, who claims to be running out of lives.

NEXT WEEK! Join Rad for something to do with the countryside. And what looks like a potential mass firing. Yay!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Silly games

Week 6.  Broadcast 12 November 2014

Last week!  This show tried to live the past glories of Stubaggs and Stella on buses!  They didn't quite manage it but nonetheless it was a valiant effort. Katie imbibed the ghost of Yasmina to create the worsk packing up ever, James did a smelly in the toilet and told all his passengers to leave it for ten minutes, all of Daniel's team hated him some more and Sanjay and Jemma emerged from the doldrums to remind us of why they should stay silent.  Not that many of the apprenti emerged with dignity, but Jemma's cheerful discussion of Henry VIII's photo gallery, her utter lack of historical knowledge and her happy admission she never wins anything saw her fired.

Are the credits still spoilery, or can I watch them yet?

At Apprentice Mansions, Mark Wrong gets the call for the candidates to meet LdSralan at HMS Belfast.  The boys have some homoerotic playing waking each other up and tying each other's ties whilst everyone bitches about Daniel some more.

In the Apprenticar, Sanjay gleefully announces that apprenti are dropping like flies, whilst Mark and Pamela bitch about Daniel some more.  To his face.

LdSralan, Karren and Nick (both wearing shades like actual henchmen) meet the teams on the HMS Belfast where he says vehicles like this inspired the board game Battleship.  Except, whilst I know there IS a boardgame of it, surely it was firstly a pen and paper game?  And we always called it Battleships, anyway.  The task this week is to create a board game in 48 hours and then sell to trade and the team with the highest amount of sales wins.  Now, if I was an apprenti, this would be the task where I failed at PM by not using my knowledge.  I properly love board games, in all their many varieties.

Also, we're now at the point in the series where the teams have lost any trace of what they once were and I'm officially confused as to which is which.  With team WHICHEVER, Lauren skilfully ducks the PMship yet again by saying she would do it, honest she would, but the task doesn't suit her skill set.  Mark also ducks the PM ship because he doesn't have a family whilst Karren eye rolls.  Pamela says she's never led a project from beginning to end, although she does have some experience of branding, and so she becomes PM.

With team WHATEVER, James appears to have already been elected PM and he says with teenagers being on the internet all the time, it'd be nice to have something that brings families together.  I would say 'family' games tend to be aimed more at those with primary school age kids, but hey.  James interviews that he wants to be serious now because it's half-way through the process and he demands his redemption arc kicks in.  Bianca leads some mind-mapping on a flip chart and Solomon gets excited at the thought of picking  card that says 'beach' and then getting a kid to go out of the room and come back in displaying ANGER.  This seems more like he's trying to use the task as therapy for some sandcastle-kicking-in related PTSD but OK.  James says it's a bit complex.  Roisin says two teams pick a card each and then would have to basicallyd o charades or pictionary or something to get people to guess the answer.

On 'the other team' because helpful voiceover man has also lost track, discussion centres around game themes as well.  Mark suggests the biggest thing for adults online is dating because Sarah hypnotised him into believing so.  What this has to do with board games I don't know, but hey.  Lauren wants to do some sort of shadow puppetry which is 'modern'.  LOL.  Mark thinks there aren't many relationship board games.  Pamela interviews that she likes the idea because it's new.  I swear there are at least fifty variants on that theme already.  Daniel suggests Battle of the Sexes which is an actual game that exists.  Heck, there's a great big pile of board games in the room with them and I would be very surprised if at least one didn't have that theme.

With James' team, he suggests he and Bianca go to run the focus group whilst Roisin and Solomon go to to design.  Sanjay has slipped so far back under the radar that he isn't even assigned a task.

In the apprenticar, Pamela doubterviews that the relationship theme needs to be done both 'tastefully' and 'funnily' as if such a combo were ever possible on this show.  (Also, none of those battle of the sexes style games seem especially tasteful to me)  They debate if funnily is even a word, which, funnily enough, it is.  Although maybe not so much in the way they were using it.

Bianca's focus group involves children and families, whilst the other team's focus group involved a group of pasty 'board game enthusiasts' who clearly like to play things at the more German end of the scale than tacky relationship quiz-style games.  Now, I'd like to know how these groups were chosen, and whether or not this was a producer stitch-up or if the candidates just massively picked the wrong target cohort. Because all it would take to sell to this particular group is a big box with a batch of wooden genderless people, a huge wodge of cards and a rule book the size of 4 LPs stuck together.  The rules don't even have to make sense, as you can always errata them later.  Give it some whimsical artwork and sell it for £60, with an expansion at £30 that gives you a few more cards but allows you to play with five players, and rinse and repeat until you crush the other team and their selling to budget-conscious families.


The gamers are like, LOLNO, we're geeks, read the room.  Mark says that online dating is now 'through the roof' and it might be good to meet someone through a board game and take dating offline.  None of the focus group can find the logic in this particular argument and I'll be damned if I can.  The focus group think it's a bit sleazy to communicate that you're playing a relationship game.  Mark phones Pamela and says this isn't their target market and they also think the idea is a bit sleazy.  Pamela says she's grown to like the idea very much.  Lauren bangs on about the market research and we all know the mixed messages this show gives out when it comes to market research, so let's move along.  Lauren, Felipe and Mark wince that the PM has voted, so they'll go along with it.

Roisin is with the designer asking him to put stereotypically French imagery on their French cards.  Sanjay says they have 24 countries so they should come up with 48 cards - an easy and a hard card for each country.  I'd say 48 cards was a somewhat limited number - I mean, play the game once and you'll probably use them all up, but maybe they're thinking of expansion packs.  Or maybe they're just lazy.  Solomon stands near a whiteboard of countries they're using in the game (including Wales as a country in its own right, and a question mark next to Zambia).  I would have loved to see the process of both deciding which countries to include and which questions to ask, but ho-hum.

The other team see Daniel coming up with 'funny quirky' questions, which are sexist (kind of obviously, such is the name of the game) but also ludicrously bizarre.  It made my week, by the way, to discover that this was a real thing and you, too, can purchase the contents of Daniel's brain (ages 10+).  I want to know now which other apprenti products are real things, not least as I've been craving a bix mix all day (never chicken salad though,  Woman hate chicken salad, go forward 3 spaces).

Team James' photoshoot involves a family playing their game on a sofa surrounded by exotic props.  Bianca tries to talk to the photographer and get him to crop the shot whilst James talks all over her and interviews that the little woman is getting too big for her boots and then he tells the photographer that his photos are really shit so he has to start over.  Not smelling this redemption arc happening yet, producers.

Mark, Felipe and Lauren get Felipe posing as a relationship guru at their shoot where Mark and Lauren find a photo they love and hope the other team will be happy.  Of course not, Pamela says the game is silly and they needed a comedy shoot.  I wouldn't say a grumpy couple with guru Felipe was all that serious, but eh.  On their way back. Mark cartwerviews that 'it's hard to be an eagle when you're surrounded by turkeys' and Lauren's bitchface ponders if he is including her in that burn.

At Apprentice Mansions James starts to lay into Bianca in the kitchen telling her she has a problem with him and speaks all over her and then she shouts at him and he shouts at her and the whole thing looks uncomfortably like a domestic abuse advert.  Bianca interviews that a fool speaks when he has nothing to say and she's not saying he's a fool but he talks a lot.

Box design: the games are called GeoKnow and The Relationship Guru.  Katie, Paula and Daniel make up some more questions and the games get printed.  The board of GeoKnow looks suspiciously like it's been ripped off wholesale from Articulate!  (I am ace at Articulate!  In fact Apprentice-themed Articulate! should totally have been one of the ideas).  150 board games per team arrive at the house and they play them.  The relationship guru game has a random ice cream on the board for... reasons.  I also discover that the games were made by Drummond Park, which explains why the GeoKnow board resembles the Articulate! one, I guess.  Drummond Park also have their own battle of the sexes style game.  Such a rare theme!  So new!  Pamela's team try and fail to play the game.

Team GeoKnow also try to play theirs.  Solomon makes some sort of grunting noise and James guesses it's America.  James then says you could also go 'hey I'm from America' in an American accent and the others interview that he... doesn't really understand the game.  Living with James must be very tiring.  Sanjay, Solomon and Bianca take GeoKnow to a primary school where Bianca guesses that sushi comes from China.  The kids like it though.  More 'gamers' in a pub scratch their heads at the baffling nature of the relationship questions.  Daniel tells Lauren and Felipe it is all Pamela's fault and not his for writing weird questions.  They ring her and say the game could be seen as sexist, offensive and too objective.  Pamela says they're all pulling away from the concept and covering their backsides for when the boardroom comes, which is... how this show generally works, yes.

On their way to pitch their products, James tells Roisin they're going to get high.  Not sure that's always worked in the pitch room, James.  They go to ToysRUs and demonstrate GeoKnow.  James says they're looking for £14.50 as it's limited edition.  The men say they can only take 25 and don't really want to spend more than £10 per edition.  Eventually they negotiate on selling 30 for £10 each.  Googling the game reveals that at one point in history, ToysRUs were selling it on their site for £17.99.  I have always lived in a world where I assumed these kinds of big corporate pitches were just imaginary (I think they mostly are) but a world where actual Apprentice products can actually be sold is just mesmerising to me.  James interviews that he is quite happy.  The rest of James' team go to toy shops and sell 15 units at £17 which James says is awesome whilst saying they got screwed at the 'toy retailer'.

Team Relationship Guru go to Waterstone's and are asked if they're worried about the questions being offensive.  Daniel says he thinks it's quirky.  Waterstone's lady thinks their female customers wouldn't like to be told they prefer pop music to rock and classical.  They report back to the other sub-team on no sales.  Pamela and Mark whine about this and Pamela says she thought Daniel was supposed to be a perfect salesman.  Katie says Pamela really needs to get rid of that perception.  They go to pitch to ToysRUs and Mark is still going for his 'let's take dating offline' angle despite that being the worst angle that there has been upon which to sell any game ever.  He says the 'men' at ToysRUs can appreciate humour.  One buyer asks who he thinks ToysRUs's target market is.  Mark says they sell to all ages (which is true, as I've definitely seen adult-oriented games in there) and a mum might take it home to her husband (taking dating offline!).  The other man says it's stupid but simple and it might be worth taking a punt.  Mark says it's hot right now.  They order 60 units at £8.  Karren says they pitched well.  At some point Mark said you don't need to be a 'rocket surgeon' to play the game.  KWALITY PITCHIN.

James pitches more GeoKnows and offers an exclusivity deal to NW3 to a retailer - checking with the subteam if this is OK.  It is, so they sell 15 units and exclusivity to Hampstead.  Bianca pitches in Central London to another small retailer - selling six games at £16 to some hipsters for exclusivity in the whole of Westminster.  Nick interviews that this is a bad thing.  Bianca says they got exclusivity to West'minister'.  Technically it's not Westminster, James, so stop spitting about how crazy she is like you're mad Trevor from EastEnders.  God, he is loathsome.

Mark sells more games to gift shops and bragterviews that Katie and Pamela are like his apprentices.  Daniel pitches to Forbidden Planet and a pink punky girl doesn't buy any.

Sanjay, Bianca and Solomon are on their way to Waterstone's.  Sanjay says all they have to do is get them not to sell it in Westminster.  Bianca sighs that that's where their flagship store is.  The buyers like it but give a sharp intake of breath at them not being able to sell in the flagship price.  Solomon asks if he can get the price down to make it more attractive and they settle on a somewhat arbitrary sounding deal of 29 units for £11 each.

Last minute sales montage!  James and team tell a shop owner he can only sell online to the owner's consternation.  Felipe haggles with a Jane Beale-alike.  SELLING DONE.

Pamela's team have sold stock worth £265 and her 'gut' tells her it's Lauren's fault.  For... reasons that occurred off-screen, I guess.

Boardroom time!  NotFrances sends them through and we learn that James was PM for team Sommat.  James lies that he took 'everything on board' and LdSralan goes through how the game works.  James talks some more and I don't care. Bianca says she slipped up and offered exclusivity to the borough of Westminster instead of to a postcode.  LdSralan says it was like selling Mayfair and Park Lane for a fiver.  Bianca says James ran the team like a dictatorship.

Over at Tenacious D, LdSralan points out Mark was all for Pamela being PM so he could see her leadership skills in action but he's been a hiding behind the PM stealth candidate for some time now and don't think LdSralan hasn't noticed, he wasn't born bladdy yesterday. You too, Lauren. He then accuses Lauren of being a 'typical safe lawyer'.  Since when was being a lawyer safe on this show?  The team bitch about the crap game and Pamela says there wasn't much else on the table.  Daniel says he wrote questions based on the advice of Pamela.  Pamela tells him to take ownership and points out that at least LdSralan is laughing.  They discuss the pitches and Mark gets bigged up a bit whilst he tries to land Daniel and Lauren in it for not liking the product.  Lauren says she was always positive when selling it.  Daniel says Mark is just trying to play boardroom tactics.

Numbers time!  Tenacious D sold 128 units for £1101.25.  (Where did the 25 come from?)  Sommat sold out for £2080 and crush their opponents.  Their prize?  Playing with Seaman.  Fnar.  LdSralan reminds James to learn lessons like a proto-StuBaggs.  But at least StuBaggs had a field of ponies.  What is James offering me, exactly?

The reward of attempting penalties against David Seaman is kind of poor, but David avoids saving most of them, except James', which he saves every time which is at least funny.

In loser cafe, Pamela says her team sat on the fence and didn't go with her idea.  Daniel says she was pretty single minded.  Pamela says he's being aggressive.  He says she lost her way.  She says they all did.  Daniel says he thinks the cards were the problem but he wrote them.  Pamela tells him to take ownership.  He says she should have carried on writing them.  Not that he is in the pub quiz business or anything, as Dara pointed out on YerFiyud.

NotFrances sends them all back to the boardroom.  LdSralan says there's no point in going to a focus group if you ignore them.  Pamela says they were only negative if it went down a 'certain route'.  LdSralan says the questions weren't funny, they were bad taste.  Pamela says she didn't read ALL 48 questions because that would have taken a whole five minutes.  LdSralan asks what she did as manager.  She says she tried to stop people sitting on the fence, mainly Daniel and Lauren.  LdSralan and Daniel say Daniel is unlikely to sit on the fence.  Pamela says he's hard to work with and Daniel says if he sits on the fence it would make him easy to work with.  LdSralan tells Mark and Lauren off for hiding from PMing.  Pamela bitches about Lauren and everyone bickers some more.  Mark sighs that he should have taken the task and he'll try harder in the future honestly, LdSralan, but he's been sub-team leader before.  LdSralan says there's no subteams when you're in business with him.  Daniel snarks that a good number two isn't always a good number one.  He tells LdSralan to check his sales figures and see that he's good.  LdSralan says he sold nothing on this task or the last one and he thinks Daniel is a fantastist who has a wrong perception of himself.  Daniel says he won as PM, LdSralan thinks he only won because of team-mates.  Pamela says she's bringing back Daniel and Lauren.  Mark and Katie go back, Mark with a warning, and Katie with a 'thanks Lord Sugar.'

LdSralan says Pamela asserted her authority but should have made changes, Daniel has spirit but seems more like a market trader than a real entrepreneur.  Nick says Lauren is professional but wonders if she has a spark.

Pamela says she brought Daniel back because he hasn't pulled his weight, he's been destructive, obstructive and aggressive, whilst Lauren has sat on the fence and didn't contribute to the task.  Lauren tries to explain herself and Pamela talks all over her and this goes on ad nauseum.  Daniel says 'LdSugar, I'm not really interested in listening to them arguing'.  LdSralan: 'I am'.  Daniel: 'I apologise'.  Heh.  Lauren says the task failed on two reasons - the deficient product and something else we'll never know. Daniel's CV (seems the one-week resurrection of REZ-HOO-MAY didn't last) says he's complete in business and Daniel confirms this is indeed the case  and numbers don't lie because he won as PM.  LdSralan laughs and says OK, he happened to be PM on a winning team and if he learns from every mistake he's ever made, he'd be a genius.  He says Daniel disagrees with everything he's ever said but he can't be that thick after sending hundreds of people through the boardroom and he can't be doing with Daniel being deluded and he is not complete in the world of business.  Daniel says he will show a 'complete' difference.  Daniel, that word doesn't mean what you think it means.

Sralan takes Pamela to task for only being in work for a year (as she's very young, but not in a way that the show makes this an arc, it's probably because she only graduated a year earlier, but as we all know, who needs a BLADDY EDUCATION anyway).  She says she's always had part-time jobs before that but LdSralan snarks that part-time jobs aren't REAL JOBS.  Pamela says she needed to get an education to get on in life and she works hard.  LdSralan says she talks well and she says she talks sense and only speaks when she has something to say.  She thinks Daniel should be fired.  Lauren says Pamela should be fired and she doesn't know why she's in there.  Pamela says she didn't do anything.  Daniel tries to say he doesn't think he should be there but everyone ignores him.  Hee.

LdSralan says Lauren is an intelligent 'lady' because of the profession she's in but thinks she might have been playing a game.  He says it's OK that Pamela has only been in work for a year but he has to invest in a company with someone with business acumen.  He says Daniel makes him lost for words because he comes out with things he can't substantiate but has more fire than Lauren.  Lauren is fire-teased for LdSralan being bitterly disappointed that she's not showing entrepreneurial spirit unlike Daniel who is a 'go-getter'.  She stutters open-mouthed.  But LdSralan's biggest problem is that Pamela was PM and didn't have control over the task, so she's fired.

LdSralan reminds the others it's a 'special' year and he can fire who he wants when he wants.  He doesn't think Lauren is dead wood but does think she's been playing a game.  Daniel is on his last chance.  They're both sent back and hug Pamela.

Coatwatch: Coral with a natty cream scarf.  Pamela cabterviews that she's gutted but proud to have made it this far and thinks Lauren and Daniel are playing.

Back at Apprentice Mansions, everyone hopes Daniel is back, especially Mark and James in the battle for the alphas.  No-one is especially happy to see Daniel back.  Lauren's return gets no response.

Next week!  FORRIN FUN in NOO YOIK!  Coupled with the advertising task!  Join Helen for that classic combination.

Monday, 10 November 2014

The Canterbury fails

Episode 5 – 5th November 2014

Hello! Welcome back. Last week, Rad took you through the birth of Fat Daddy and the task based on the completely arbitrary concept of YouTube hits. Don’t get me started on how little sense that makes.  The triple firing was good though, wasn’t it? Best telly in AGES. I was jumping up and down on my chair. Totally worth learning 20 names for.

So this week promises to be about coach tours. Ah, the coach tour task, and the days of 20 diameters wide. I hope we get the same level of idiocy this week. Oh, like it was ever in doubt. There are only 12 left! That’s, like, still LOADS.

We begin at 5.30am. Lauren answers the phone that tells her she has to be ready to go to South Mimms in 20 minutes. Ah, a service station at 6am. Is it a dogging task? Gap in the market there, Lordsir.  James claims that 25 minutes isn’t long enough to blow dry his hair. I mean, I’m a pretty tolerant person, but that statement is waaaay too much for me. The rest of the Apprenti try to figure out what a South Mimms is whilst offering handy soundbites about the triple firing. Mark Wright is already dressed, because he is sensible and efficient and therefore boring as ARSE. He half talks, half interviews about there being 12 pretty good people left but the real process starts today.

The debate as to what a South Mimms is continues in the back of the Apprenticar between Sanjay, Mark Wright and Jemma. Mark Wright says that Daniel told him it was a petrol station, but apparently Daniel isn’t to be believed. Cut to Daniel giving the type of sideeye that suggests that someone somewhere is being nasty about him. AND HE’S RIGHT. It’s sort of a petrol station. STICK THAT IN YOUR PIPE.  They all get out and wait by some coaches as LordSir arrives. He says that they’re probably wondering why they’re all there and he imparts the BZNZ WZDM that coaches are money making machines and he wants them to create their own coach tours. He’s putting on the coaches and they’re doing the rest. The catch is, the tours are outside London. They’ve got to negotiate entry to attractions and show people a good time. So it is a dogging task! The team with the most profit are the winners. Simple. One of the losers will be fired.  As three of Tenacious D were given their marching orders last week, Mark Wright is now one of them. Lordsir wants to know if all that is clear. It is. Excellent.

The voiceover man reminds us that if they sell tickets at a profit, there’s money to be made. Sanjay is the boss of Sommat and he wants to do a history tour of Kent and the Canterbury tales. Mark Wright claims to be happy to be on Tenacious D whilst Daniel gives him a look that is totally sizing him up. He’s so pretty. He takes charge (in a masterful manner) and says that events are his thing. Mark Wright then gets in a totally manly manfight with him and says that he used to be a tour guide, but Daniel works in the event industry and totally feels that they can drive them to victory. He said that. He actually said that and I still would. He then interviews that most chess players think one move ahead, but he’s thinking two or three. That’s how awesome and good at BZNZ he is. Oh dear, I can’t help but feel that this is the kind of pride that inevitably ends in a crushing, crashing fall. He’s going to outsell and outclass the other candidates and there’s nothing that you can throw at him that he won’t be brilliant at. Except possibly this. Note to reader – I usually watch this alongside twitter when it airs and do the recap later, but this time I was out so I’m watching this as I recap it. Everything is going to be a surprise. He may be fine, but something tells me he won’t be. Daniel wants to do an English Experience tour of Oxford to show people English things like castles and rivers whilst mumbling crap about margins and profit. Yep, that’s hardly BZNZ NWS, is it? He wants to sell the tour for £80-100 which isn’t too far off what a city tour of London costs. [It does?  Sheesh. - Rad] Mark Wright wants to start higher. Filipe just repeats what everyone says. 

Over with Sommat, Solomon wants to go as high as possible price wise, whilst PM Sanjay is more worried about bums on seats. Bianca tries to pin them down and insists on a price. Sanjay thinks £60 is reasonable for two attractions and lunch. It’s more reasonable than £100, anyway. Bianca says that they’re doubling their cost price, which is fine, but the other team seem to think you can triple it. Karren interviews that they should be thinking about Margins more.

10.25 and the teams split up. Half of each team go off to scout locations whilst the others stay in London to look for customers. Daniel wants to sell out his 25 seats [25 seems a bit... Mimms-y.  - Rad]. Tenacious D’s sub team of Mark Wright, Lauren and Pamela are at Blenheim house. They coo whilst they are given a tour before they go off to negotiate a rate. They let Mark Wright do it because he’s sensible and capable of BZNZ. He goes in at less than half the entry price then makes out he’ll be beaten up by Daniel if he goes back with too high a price. I’d pay to see that. He manages to get his £9.50 entry price and the others congratulate him. It’s all very sedate, supportive and BORING.

Let’s see if Sommat are any more entertaining. The scouting subteam are Sanjay, Jemma and James. James wants to push his luck for a change. He wants to ask for an 80% discount. Jemma thinks this is embarrassing whilst Sanjay redefines awkward sitting between them. James demands to know what’s awkward about demanding a bargain. Jemma stutters and Sanjay tries to shut them both up. This also strikes me as a pivotal moment. Jemma’s embarrassed because she knows that they won’t get it for that. James would like to know if she can read minds now. The ‘sweetheart’ is silent. They arrive at Hever castle, home of Ann Boleyn. Standard entry price is £15.50, let’s see James get it for £3. Bless him, he tries. The lady actually laughs at him and she offers him the group rate of £12.20. [Ha!  I loved her and her NO FULE ways - Rad] He says that he’s going to try his luck again, whatever that means.

Back with Tenacious D, Daniel is selling two unwitting tourists his tour of English Oxford. He has an air of desperation which really works for him. Katie looks like she’s faring better until the people that she’s selling to discover that she’s saying 90 and not 19. Daniel lets her off and then honest to goodness winks at her. WINKS.

Sommat’s Subteam are now in Greenwich selling tours of Kent. Bianca, Roisin and Solomon are doing their best to sell their £60 tickets. Roisin interviews that Solomon’s strategy is to charm young girls. Not generally the strategy of people who are to be trusted. Cut to James still trying to barter the lady down and getting nowhere. It takes him a significant amount of time to realise that he’s not going to get a discount in any way, shape or form. Jemma interviews that he’s quite forceful and a bit like a broken record. Jemma didn’t think it needed to take that long to get a discount. They finally get a tour.

Tenacious D finally make a sale. Nick interviews that they’ve only sold a few tickets, but they’re sticking to their price. He then makes a snide comment about Daniel the master saleseman not selling anything. Whoops. The subteam phone him for an update. They’ve sold five tickets at full price. Mark Wright isn’t impressed. Neither are Pamela and Lauren. Lauren helpfully points out that Tenacious D are greater in number than the people on the tour. Pamela is also wondering why the master salesman hasn’t sold any tickets.  Mark Wright makes a wonderful comment about the only thing Daniel being able to sell is himself.

Finally though, Some DANGER. Sommat haven’t left enough time to get to Canterbury for the second part of their tour of Canterbury. Cue some very camp running from Sanjay. Jemma tries to run in heels.  Tenacious D are faring a little better and manage to secure a pretty sweet boat tour. Daniel has decided to take a different tack and is trying to sell the tour to some British People in a group. Surely they need to target people who are unsure of currency to sell at £99.50? he offers them a group rate of £65 a head and it works. He’s got 9 passengers. Katie interviews that she expected him to go in a little higher with the asking price. She’s not sure it’s the right decision. Thanks Katie!

Sanjay, Jemma and James only just make it for the Canterbury Tales tour. Jemma tries James’ tack of going in stupidly cheap. They don’t like it. Jemma asks them to give them a price. James realises that this is BZNZ SUICIDE and jumps in to give the smarm. He then interviews that he doesn’t know why Jemma is still there. I think it’s because she’s not had enough screen time to fail hard enough yet, but there’s still time. She needs to negotiate harder and not be a pushover.

8.30pm, and Filipe is trying to sell tours of Oxford to students. That’s better. Bianca corners a group and offers them any price they want. She basically tells them that she’s desperate and they pay accordingly. Solomon doesn’t like it and interviews as such.  She phones up Sanjay to tell him and he thinks that £40 a head is good news whilst James gives him the side eye and Jemma is actually ironing in the corner. Next door, Pamela, Mark Wright and Lauren are trying to learn all of history and are making bags. Pamela complains that they have done all the work whilst all the other half of the team have done is fail to sell any tickets. With a sense of timing and precision most unlike him, Daniel picks this moment to ring.  He asks how they are. Pamela says that they’re tired and just want to know how many tickets they’ve sold. Daniel says that they’re being negative even though they’ve sold 20 tickets so there’s nothing to worry about. Daniel interviews that Pamela is probably on her period or something whilst Pamela holds her head in her hands.

It’s the next day, and Sommat are trying on their lovely red uniforms. Tenacious D have yellow ones. Of Tenacious D, it’s Felipe, Mark Wright and Lauren who are leading the tour. Filipe thinks they look like expensive airline tours. The other half are in charge of lunch. Daniel wants cheese sandwiches. Pamela remains unimpressed with her. The tours are starting at London’s largest and most salubrious public toilet, Victoria coach station. Tenacious D tours welcome on their passengers. Behind them, and leading the tour for Sommat, are Sanjay, James and Jemma. Sanjay fails to close a van door.

Tenacious D tours start well. Mark Wright is such a natural, that I think that they might claw it back, despite them only selling 20 tickets. He pimps the t-shirts whilst Filipe tries to sell water.  Lauren instructs him to calm down a bit because although they are desperate, they don’t want to seem it. Sommat haven’t left the coach station. There’s some comedy language barriers and James introduces himself as “king James”. OH DEAR LORD.  They finally leave.  James gives them a pretend tour of London then tries to lead them all in a singsong which makes Karren look like she’d quite like to book into Dignitas. They even film her eyeing up the emergency exit.

Cut to other half of the team trying to buy supplies in Macro. Katie declares Apple Pie British. Yes, because wall all know the phrase “as English as apple pie”. Their lunch costs around £2 a head. QUALITY FIRST.

Tenacious D arrive at Blenheim palace to lots of coos. Lauren is in charge of showing everyone around. She does really well and even gets some grudging kudos from Nick. The customers are impressed that she did it all off the top of her head. Sommat are singing and are currently 45 minutes behind schedule. They arrive at Hever castle and someone has given James a megaphone. Oh dear LORD. Karren rightly interviews that people of all ages have come for history and entertainment and have been given “wheels on the bus”. It all rests on the tour. James then has his “12 diameters wide” moment as he describes what all the topiary is, whilst Jemma carries a clipboard. She leads the tour of the castle, reading from a clipboard and telling people to find things for themselves. [Like the PHOTOS of Henry and Anne Boleyn - Rad] It’s all a bit of a shambles. She tells a lady to hold her question for the experts. She then goes on to the morals of Henry VIII whilst Karren rolls her eyes so hard you can hear it. Bianca and Roisin sort out the tiny, tiny lunch of cheapness that’s eaten on the grass whilst James shoves t-shirts in people’s faces AS THEY EAT.  Roisin wonders whether the hard sell is the best bet whilst they’re trying to build a relationship with the punters. Tenacious D’s lunch isn’t better. Katie shouts that they’re handmade sandwiches but Nick holds one up to camera and wonders about the quality. Daniel is trying to sell them water, even though drinks aren’t included. Mark Wright isn’t happy about the fact that they’ve had such a good morning, then ‘Dan the Destroyer’ brings round some sandwiches that could ‘kill a brown dog’.  He wants them to leave because they’re ruining it and he wants a chance to pull it back.

Lunch over, everyone’s back on the buses. Sommat’s toilet has broken but James promises to sort it out. Tenacious D are on a boat and Filipe is telling everyone that there are more pigs than people in Oxford whilst dressed as a deckchair. Sommat are sending everyone to sleep and when they eventually get to their destination, they get lost. They make it with minutes to spare. Cut to Filipe boring everyone on a boat and asking everyone if they would like a recap. They don’t. 

James and Sanjay take this moment to realise that they are overrunning and have to round everyone up to get them home. Everyone is suitably impressed by this so James assures them that they are only missing 10% of the tour. Which makes it ok. They interview that they have a lot of making up to do on the way home. I don’t think 10 Green Bottles is going to get them out of this one, somehow.

7.30pm and both teams are back in London. Pamela isn’t happy with how the task was handled by Tenacious D, but thinks that they did enough to win. Sommat are actually auctioning off their remaining merchandise, including crisps and lemonade.  Bianca interviews that they’ve made a major contribution in selling tickets and making sandwiches. Solomon interviews that he sold all of his tickets at the right price, which is something that Bianca couldn’t manage, and if the other team sold high, they’re screwed. James actually asks for tips on the way out. The shamefacedness of it all.

BOARDROOM! Lordsir wishes them a good morning. He claims it’s an interesting task, and he’s looking for the complete package, much like their  customers. I don’t think anyone is writing his stuff. That’s the sad part. He’s writing his own stuff, isn’t he? They’ve offered him help to write his bits but he doesn’t want any BLADDY ENGLISH GRADUATE coming around and telling him how to write a joke. He’s heard that Sanjay was the leader of Sommat, and wants to know how they got on. Sanjay explains that he thought Kent was a nice historical place and that he went off to decide what they were going to do with a view to negotiating prices. James takes credit for this until Karren explains that the woman at Hever Castle was a bit shocked at his attitude. Sanjay tries to downplay it but James steams on, saying that the point of the task was to drive a hard bargain.  Jemma chips in and says that she did think James went in a bit low. He steams in with the “actually, you were embarrassed” line. Jemma reminds him that the woman actually laughed in his face and LordSir reminds us all that we have to be sensible AND THAT’S THE END OF THAT. He then moves on to the sales half of the team and wants to know the strategy.  Sanjay explains that his Adult tickets were £60. Did they sell out? Not in the conventional sense, pahaha. Yes, they sold all the tickets. Mark Wright looks like he knows he’s screwed. What were the roles? James and Sanjay let the tour. James claims he was in charge of singing The Wheels On The Bus. Lordsir reminds him that he was told to shut up. He claims not to have heard it. Bianca says that when she sold the tickets, she promised people a high quality trip then leaves the “but these arseholes ruined it” silent.  Next up, we talk merchandise. James is now claiming that he also sold all of the merchandise, much to the annoyance of everyone, who say he was like a bull in a china shop. Karren takes the middle ground and says that James has a different approach to selling. He takes this as a compliment because he’s an arrogant haircut. Lordsir picks him up on his “fire sale” attitude. James claims that if he hadn’t have sold anything, they would’ve sold nothing. Lordsir calls it Groundhog day, but James claims it’s totally different and asks everyone else what they sold. Tickets is the answer. He scrabbles for a crumb and reminds them that 9 of these went for £40 instead of £60.

Over to Tenacious D. Mark Wright says that Daniel took charge early because running events is what he does. Nick said that he claimed he would lead his team to victory. Daniel says that’s how confident he was. He reminds them that they toured Oxford and starts with the locations subteam. Mark Wright claims he used his Australian charms to get a 60% discount, which is a big discount and totally a world away from an 80% one. I knew an Australian man once. He had lots of charms. Good times. I digress. He wants to know about the sales strategy. Daniel says that single tickets cost more at £99.50 than multiple ones at £90.  I tell you, this world is against us single gals.  However,  explains Nick, the prices came crashing down and they didn’t sell out the coach. Sanjay makes an “ooh” face. Katie explains that she sold one at £99.50 and two at £90. Filipe sold 4 at £90 and Daniel sold none. Lordsir questions his salesman ability. His excuse is that he’s already proved that he’s a good salesman and that he pitched to groups. The others claim this to be a group effort and Nick agrees. Katie then grasses him up for selling to the group at £60 per head and that he probably could’ve gone more expensive. Nick says that they would’ve paid more and they actually said that they would’ve paid more. Daniel then tries to interrupt but Katie does the whole “let us speak” bit and rightly claims that he didn’t even try to go in any higher. Lordsir wants to know what he actually did right. Lauren jumps in and says that despite wrestling the PM role off Mark Wright because he’s an events manager, he didn’t do anything to organise or run the event. Lordsir thinks the team don’t seem to be very co-ordinated. Mark Wright does a football analogy that I won’t claim to even want to understand that basically amounts to it was us and him. He disagrees and says events manager lots whilst Katie tries to point out what he did wrong. He says he’s not going to be sucked into an argument. Lordsir says that this is unavoidable as the PM. He’s right. Daniel stands by all his decisions and claims that he’d probably sell him out in their position to save his own skin. Lordsir tells him to keep his flannel for the bathroom. That’s a half decent joke. He can have that.

NUMBERS! Sommat sold out their coach, and their total sales was £1,395.71. They spent £582.01 making a total profit of £813.70. Tenacious D sold 20 seats but generated £1,531.61 and spent £493.62 making an overall profit of £1037.99. Not so shit now, are wee, Daniel? Yeah, he is. The team pat Mark Wright on the shoulder. This is noted and fed back. Daniel claims it was only Pamela. It wasn’t just Pamela. They won the task without Daniel. He disagrees but it’s all moot because they were less shit and they’re off to climb the Orbit at the Olympic Park and they’re going to abseil down. [WORST PRIZE EVER - Rad] He’ll see them next task. Sommat are not impressed. Neither is Daniel, but only one of those are coming back to the boardroom.

In the cafe of fail, Sanjay wants to know who sold what. He interviews that he blames Bianca for selling under the asking price. We all know it’s not going to be her getting fired because she’s had a bit in the credits that hasn’t been shown yet so I’m not worried. He wonders if she got the maximum that she could’ve. She claims that she did the best she could on the last pitch of the day. She interviews that it’s unfair that Sanjay is blaming her, and it’s unacceptable. Roisin tries to blame James’ aggressive sales technique. James thinks that the fail is down to Bianca underselling and Jemma standing around with a clipboard doing very little, the latter of which is fair, I reckon.

Over at the Orbit, everyone is a bit freaked out with the abseiling. Daniel does not understand how it’s a treat. [Team Daniel - Rad] Back on the floor, Mark Wright semi apologises to Daniel and tells him that it was all for his own good. Daniel says that he’d rather win ugly than lose polite. Why does he insist on making me go off him EVERY WEEK?

Sommat are back at the boardroom. Lordsir’s opening line is to wonder where Sanjay’s brain is. It was supposed to be a high class British Tour, and he’s singing nursery rhymes. He doesn’t get it. Sanjay takes his point and it agrees that it was a poor decision. Karren suggests that maybe they should’ve stopped when someone said it was torture. Lordsir says that he’s got to go into business with one of them and they’re there singing nursery rhymes. He then ponders how different history would’ve been if Anne Boleyn’s neck had’ve been as thick as them. James listens to all this with a slack jawed grin on his face and comes back with his usual ‘I’ll show you how good I am’ bollocks. He’s got balls, unlike some. Yes, James, the ladies don’t have testicles. 10 points. Lordsir says that the only thing going for James is that he sold all the merchandise. Lordsir’s next question is about where the price came from. Sanjay, as the youngest bank manager for a bank that can’t be named should realise that 25 x £60 adds up to not that much money. Sanjay can’t answer why it came to that price and all he can say was that they agreed on it. He goes on to say that if it was him, he probably would’ve sat down and thought about how much money he could make them and gone from there. Roisin says the pricing was rushed. Sanjay then says that it doesn’t matter about pricing, because tickets were sold for less than the asking price. Bianca then sticks up for herself and says that they had 9 seats left at the end of the day and she sold them. Lordsir reminds her that she told them she was desperate. You would think that there was no coming back from this, but there is. Bianca claims not to have said this, forgetting that at this stage, it’s every man for themselves and Solomon drops her right in it. Next question is to wonder exactly what the point of Jemma is. Jemma led the tour at Hever castle, apparently, but didn’t even know what happened to Ann Boleyn, claiming that she grew apart from Henry VIII. To be fair, I don’t know much about Henry VIII, mainly because I went to school in Scotland and our history lessons were pretty much about how many times and ways Scotland was screwed over by England. Jemma has no such excuse.  Jemma tries to claim that she’s not really a tour guide but Nick just throws Lauren’s awesomeness at her. Jemma believes that she swotted up.

But let’s break paragraph for something excellent. It’s with great pleasure that I’d like to announce that RE-ZOO-MAY is officially back.  Praise BE! The reason it’s come back is because Jemma has put on hers that she’s always the girl that nearly wins and Lordsir wants to know what that means. Jemma claims that she always puts in 100% but never seems to quite make it. [That's because it's supposed to be 110.  Has she learned nothing? - Rad] She’s hoping that it will be different this time. Lordsir wonders how it’s going to be different. She’s not claiming to be perfect but she’s on a learning curve and she’s still talking but saying nothing. James jumps in and says that she only wrote on her pad for the entire day. She replies to this by saying that James has been very detrimental to her which is not what I think she means but let’s go with it. James says that this is because she hasn’t done anything. It’s kind of hard to argue with that. Jemma thinks that the failure of the task lies with Bianca for selling knock down tickets.

So who’s coming back? Bianca and Jemma. What a surprise. Lordsir isn’t happy with this, and tells James that he’s a bullock hair away from being fired for ratings so he best pull his socks up. He’s not going to be fired. He’s far too entertaining. Everyone leaves. Lordsir says that Bianca has been good up until now but wonders if she’s lost the plot. Karren claims that she may have sold too low but the prices were too low to begin with. Tenacious D sold fewer tickets at a higher price and that’s what won it. On to Jemma, her contribution every week has been disappointing and Lordsir thinks that Sanjay has a lot to answer for.

LORD SUGAR WILL SEE YOU NOW. Bianca looks ready to kill, and Jemma ready to cry. Lordsir says that he’s had a chat with Karren and Nick and the failure of the task was down to low ticket prices, so he’s giving Sanjay another  chance to tell him where he got the ticket price of £60 from. Sanjay says that it was a collective agreement but didn’t work it out in terms of costs. Lordsir wonders how he would’ve approached the task as a bank manager and give Sanjay his due, he doesn’t lie.  Why didn’t he do it here? He trots out the “taking your point on board, I’ll show you next week” trope. He moves on to Bianca and asks her why she didn’t, as a small business woman, think about how much money she could make. She answers that “we” didn’t but the real answer is that all three of them didn’t think individually.

But who’s fault is it? Bianca thinks it’s Sanjay’s, as part of the negotiating team. Bianca’s sales team were selling something that they didn’t deliver. Sanjay disagrees and says that they did deliver an entertaining and informative tour. Sanjay thinks Bianca should be fired. If that’s the case, then why is Jemma there? Sanjay thinks it was between James and Jemma, but decided on Jemma because basically, in a nutshell, James did more stuff. Jemma thinks it’s Sanjay’s fault and he should be fired. Sanjay then turns on her and says that she’s changed her mind about who’s fault it all is because he’s brought her into the board room and that shows she’s got no backbone. She says it’s because she listens to what’s being said and takes it on board. OOH. Sanjay says that she may listen, but she doesn’t do much. Lordsir is disappointed in him and his credentials, as it was a diabolical experience for the people on the coach. The tickets were too cheap and there was no strategy and he’s finding it difficult to lay blame elsewhere. Over to Jemma, her feedback from the customers was that the tour was poor and he’s not even sure what she’s been doing, anyway. Bianca is felt to have potential but the fact she knocked down the tickets is a fireable offence.  It’s regrettable that someone of Sanjay’s credentials has led his team to such a crushing failure and has tarnished his name in putting on a poor tour, but he has to say that Jemma is still the girl that nearly wins because she’s FIRED. Bye! 

Lordsir has got nothing more to say other than they’re lucky to still be there. He’s not messing about now, he can’t see Jemma as his business partner. She taxiterviwes that she’s still the nearly girl and she knows she’ll win one day.  [Bless  her being all chirpy in the cab though - Rad] Back at the house, Mark Wright says directly to James that he’s surprised he’s still there. James wonders what’s wrong with singing on a bus. Roisin says it was more about the way he sold.  When they return, Sanjay says that he was ripped a new one. He’s disappointed because from what he heard, he worked better than some of the others. Daniel claims that he did well on the day and Mark Wright can’t let this slide. He tells Daniel that he’s learned a cheap lesson today and he could take it in his stride but he’s got to stop the lies and he’s got to stop the bollocks. Daniel is still claiming to have closed two pitches but then I’m distracted because he’s wearing grey tracksuit bottoms. Mark Wright is tired. Bianca suggests everyone move on. Daniel doesn’t like being called a liar when he’s lying. Poor Mark Wright.  You’re too good for this.

NEXT WEEK! Join Rad for Board Games and Bianca being FIERCE.